Monday, October 21, 2013

Lesson #159: Never Stop Recruiting (Even If No Current Openings)

Back in Lesson #106, we talked about the importance succession planning for all positions within your company.  But, in the event you don't have the right successor talent inhouse, you will need to recruit replacement talent for your startup, which we learned how to do in Lesson #34.  And, most likely, this means finding a quick replacement for an underperforming or lost staff member, or adding a new staff member for unexpected growth. 

As the old saying goes, time is money.  The longer it takes you to recruit and replace a terminated or lost employee, or fill that new opening, the longer it will take you to train and optimize the new employee.  And, therefore, the longer it will take your income statement to see the results.

One strategy to employ here is to never shut off your job postings or resume inflow, regardless of whether or not you have an open position, especially for high turnover risk or other key revenue driving positions (e.g., salespeople).  The small cost of the job posting should be more than offset by the weeks of time savings you will get by have a fresh batch of resumes in hand for when you really need them. 

And, better yet, it doesn't hurt to have had some active conversations with candidates for these positions, so you have pre-screened and prioritized the resumes, and know the first calls you are going to make when the time comes.  Understanding, some candidates may not still be available down the road, but at least you will have an opportunity sell them on your opportunity at that time, no different than professional recruiters do when stealing talent from one company to another.

Yes, I know recruiting can be a pain and often a time-consuming distraction in running your business.  I am not suggesting this becomes a full time job for you.  What I am saying is, during your free time, keep your recruiting process on a slow simmer on the back burner at all times.  So, that when you have the need to heat up your efforts, you are not starting from cold start.

Recruiting for talent is an everyday thing, whether you realize it or not.  Especially, for high-growth early stage startups.  So, you might as well put a process around it, to make it as efficient as possible for you, in good times (e.g., adding staff) and in bad (e.g., replacing staff).  Your bottom line profits will thank you, as your do your best to minimize any negative impact on your revenue stream!!

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